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Driving Tip: You Can't Ignore A Flat Tire For Long

 

This is why you don't ignore flat tires. Image: WTAE

This is why you don't ignore flat tires. Image: WTAE

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Life isn’t always fair, and things don’t always go as planned. Drive long enough, and you’ll eventually get a flat tire, likely at the worst possible moment. Fly frequently enough, and sooner or later you’re going to miss a flight or two.

Sometimes, you’ll do both in the same day, like the Pennsylvania woman so determined to make her early-morning flight out of Pittsburgh International Airport that she chose to ignore the rhythmic thump-thump-thump of a flat tire on her Toyota Prius.

As Pittsburgh’s WTAE (via USA Today) explains, the driver ignored the deflated right rear tire long enough to completely shred the the tire and separate it from the rim. Eventually, this led to brake failure, likely via a severed brake line or heat build up that boiled off brake fluid.

As the woman approached the terminal, she was unable to negotiate a corner and plowed through a set of automatic doors. No pedestrians were injured, and the woman refused medical treatment on the scene. Judging from the damage to her Prius, an airline ticket change fee is the least of her current financial worries.

What’s the takeaway? First, leave plenty of time to get to the airport in advance of your flight. Flat tires happen, but so do accidents, road construction and the occasional bit of unexpected weather. Next, a flat tire isn’t something you can ignore for long without risking serious damage to you car (and, potentially, your health). Finally, if you do change to a compact spare tire, remember to slow down (unless you're Chris Harris).

Sure, the sparks generated by rims on pavement look cool in all those police chase videos from California, but it’s not something you want to try in your own car. No matter how late for your flight you already are.

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